Monday, June 09, 2008

Flounders and church planting


Timmy Brister, newly acquired from Southern seminary by Tom Ascol as assistant pastor, has a promo for the upcoming Flounders' conference, as follows:

In just about two weeks, Founders Ministries will be hosting their national conference focusing on church planting and church revitalization. From all indications, the SBC is in decline. We need fresh perspectives and a renewed passion to plant churches, revitalize dying ones, and bring in a younger generation committed to the local church. Neither conferences or denominational politics can fix the problem; nevertheless, coming together with a shared burden and desire to work for these noble causes is a worthy place to start.

I think Tim's terminology well describes the case with regard to the Flounders -- their track record indicates they apparently do (1) need fresh perspectives and (2) a renewed passion.

Their original perspective was wrong to begin with. What we have said before is worth repeating:

A careful examination of the Flounders statement of purpose on their web site will reveal that there is no committal to the primary commission of preaching the Gospel to every creature, winning souls, and establishing churches. Rather, their purpose is to "reform" existing churches in the Southern Baptist Convention in accordance with their version of the "doctrines of grace" -- meaning the version of "Calvinism" held by the Reformed Pedobaptists, involving the heresy of "born again before faith."

In consequence of the pursuit of this purpose, the Flounders have become a proselytizing sect, and have nothing to show by way of winning souls and establishing churches of new converts. If they have established a single new church composed of converts made thru preaching the Gospel, I have yet to learn of it.

As for "passion," the only observable passion we have seen in Flounderism is a passion to promote Hybrid Calvinism and make proselytes to the "born again before faith" Pedobaptist type of theology propagated by Iain Murray, Ernest Reisinger, R. C. Sproul, Tom Nettles, and men of that persuasion. This passion has not won souls and planted churches. It has only served to make some proselytes and split some churches.

The Flounders have long been saying they want to "recover the Gospel." Now they say they are interested in "planting churches." Does this indicate they think they have "recovered the Gospel" and are now ready to preach it? If they have "recovered the Gospel," we have not seen any evidence of their doing so.


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